Whichever way Chairwoman Claudette Singh proceeds, it will be one more bus stop in Guyana’s elections catastrophe. That is guaranteed and will intensify our divisions. It will confirm that this has been the most bruising of elections contest ever endured by the peoples of this young nation. There is the hardest of roads ahead, one that is soaked through by the most dreadful hatreds imaginable. How to proceed is the most burning issue, among a menu of issues clamouring for attention. What should come first, be the most urgent priority?
Recovering to reconciling, some form of it? Or reconciling first, then moving full strength towards the recoveries waiting to be addressed? Whatever is done, must be done immediately, delicately. That delicateness of approach must be unprecedented, for almost half the population is seething. Indeed, it could be accurately and safely stated that hundreds of thousands in society rage dangerously uncontrollably.
It would be the height of unwisdom to extend the narratives about who cheated and who aided, who tendered the intellectual underpinnings, and which leader or group failed. None of that mends anything, simply fuels fires not doused easily. Any new regime has to move with purpose, with genuine and broad devotion to staunch the national bleeding, the terrible emotional traumas.
Unlike our elections, there can be none of the usual dissembling, vacillating, and tiptoeing around the perils that hang over the head and threaten to pierce our fragile peace, our feeble restraints. This is where we are as a country, and it needs to be handled carefully and sensibly. Leaders and seniors signal callers of both groups must (repeat: MUST) embody and project the right messages through words thoughtfully chosen and shared with every citizen of this nation. People are agitated and apprehensive of what the future holds, and this includes those from every side and every floor of our political house.
In view of where we have been, and what we have gone through, for approximately the last eighteen months, this is not the time for any kind of celebrating, for that first will remind of the fate of losing, and second rub salt in the raw sores. We urge that there be none of that, which will be the first indication of how disciplined we are, how strong and wise our leadership, and whether we are first and foremost about party, and nothing about the anxieties and concerns of the rest of the country.
Rather, this is a time for thanksgiving. Gratitude that we have struggled laboriously through the most battering storms, and now emerge with noses barely above the waterline to continue to somewhere. It has to be a higher place, and not in any way reminiscent of the same sorry and sordid places in which we have lived, and which we seem to relish so much. Thanksgiving at the quiet individual level, and still quieter national level, is what should grace and be the steady orderliness of the few days that stand before.
The greatest of care must be exercised so that mistakes are not made, that we do not resort to the old and regular ways that comfort. They will not on this occasion since this nation is precariously balanced on the edge of daggers. Every effort should be-must be-dedicated to anything and everything that helps to heal and reconcile this torn and broken society. We dare to say that should anything otherwise be attempted; it would be more than playing the fool. It would be the equivalent of playing with fires that could scorch, if not consume.
We must spare no energy, waste no strength, in seeking to begin the process of reconciling. Only then, can we dream of making a start, some kind of hesitant but confident start, towards the in-depth recovery so vitally and desperately needed here. Indeed, there are numerous recovery efforts that must be embarked upon and simultaneously. Our economy, our institutions, our relations, our environmental ambience. And, of course, our oil, which is, truth be told, the wellspring of all of our electoral troubles.
May we be ready. May we be so committed as leaders, as individuals, and as ONE people in ONE nation working towards ONE destiny.
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